Current, high-quality research on physician assistants’ effects on access, quality, cost, and utilization of health care is needed now perhaps more than at any time since the infancy of the profession. Four decades of research on physician assistants has consistently documented the value of the profession, but researchers have struggled to keep pace with important emerging research questions. As expectations and standards for research have become more and more rigorous, and as the PA profession has grown and evolved, there is an ongoing need to update, expand, and improve the profession’s research base.
Early in the 21st century, the rapidly growing profession is poised to take on a larger share of the increasing health care needs created by an aging population, predominance of chronic disease, and a potential shortage of physicians. In order for PAs to be utilized most effectively in this environment, there is a pressing need for research on the profession.
To address these needs, the Duke Physician Assistant Program established a research group to advance scholarship on the PA profession. The section supports research by PA Program faculty and promotes collaborative relationships with scholars in the Duke Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, the university at large, the health services research and health policy fields, and the national and international PA communities.